Car crashes into Lawrence business... again

surveillance video
Published: .
Updated: .

Though black and white and a bit grainy, surveillance video clearly shows what happened.  A car came flying over railroad tracks on 46th Street.

"He was going so fast as he was bouncing and scraping the ground there were sparks flying out from under the car," said Bart McCue of Swift Air Mechanical.

IMPD initiated the chase that ended at Swift Air Mechanical at the intersection of 46th and Franklin Road.

"You can see that the police backed off because they knew what was coming, but whoever it was running did not," said McCue.

Police backed off because this has happened here so many times in the past. Seven to be exact. Why so many times? Police said because the business is at a dead end and only a couple of hundred feet from the railroad tracks.

Besides the brand new commercial air-conditioning unit, the driver took out a gate, crashed into a scissor lift and a parked semi-trailer, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The one indication that this has happened before is a cross right on the front gate of the business. It's in memory of a Lawrence police officer killed during a chase nine years ago. In March 2005, a minivan went over the tracks at 100 miles an hour, then crashed into Officer Craig Herbert's patrol car.

"They've had discussions in the past about us either moving our business or perhaps closing off 46th Street there and putting up a guardrail to help eliminate some of these problems." McCue said.

During the Saturday chase, the driver was somehow able to walk away.

"How many more times?" asked McCue rhetorically, "until somebody else gets killed? Is that going to be the last straw or not?"

If you ask those who work at Swift Air Mechanical, there's no doubt that it will happen again.

Police have identified the driver who crashed into that business as 25-year-old Paul Tyler.  Officers tried to stop him about five miles away, but he fled. Investigators found drugs and an unlicensed handgun inside Tyler's car.